It’s what they think they want, not what you think

It’s not what they want so much as WHY they want it that matters

I remember discussing the Brexit campaign (where the UK left the European Union) with Michelle Perkins who came on the show.

Michelle and I used to work in European Politics.

We talked about a time when we released a survey about people’s opinions. We were fairly sure we knew what they would say but we were wrong.

When you live in an environment where there is a lot of conversation about a topic, you can’t help but begin to believe that what you are hearing is what everyone thinks.

Even within our circle, we hear differing opinions which just reinforce the idea that we are getting a broad spectrum of views.

But these people we talk to are also likely to be experiencing the same stimulus as us, the same conversations and the same environment as us each day. Plus whether we like the idea or not, we tend to associate with and enjoy the company of people who think in a reasonably similar way to us.

In politics, it’s called the “bubble”. You may have heard of the “Westminster Bubble” or the “Washington Bubble”, “Canberra” or wherever your parliament is. 

But does your target market live that same life?

Do they share as much of a day-to-day experience as everyone you talk to?

They may use a product or follow a campaign that you support but if you’ve worked in politics or news, you’ll know a lot of political groups with identical aims are made up of people with very different reasons for wanting that goal.

Knowing your audience’s goal is only half of the equation.

Knowing “why” our audience wants that goal and what the common motivations are between the subsets of your audience, is the key to growing a connection with them.

You see this over and over again in companies where they don’t do their research and assume they just “know”.

TAKEAWAY: Ask your target audience what motivates them, don’t assume the people you talk to reflect the people you are trying to reach.